Large crops on farmlands are being burnt by bandits in parts of Zamfara State, over the failure of residents to pay imposed harvest levies.
According to Daily Trust, the measure was to force villagers pay imposed levy meant to allow farming activities.
Some residents in Magami, a community located just 50km south of Gusau, the state capital, explained that a maize plantation belonging to one Alhaji Dankoli was burnt by the criminals.
“They have asked residents in several communities in the district to pay levies and warned of possible consequences for not doing so. They have instituted themselves as lords here. We are completely under siege,” a resident identified only as Aliyu said.
The report revealed that, in Kanoma Birni, a community in the Maru Local Government Area of the state, the bandits imposed an N8million levy.
“The residents are calculating to see if it is worth paying because they know very well that the imposed levies will not be waived completely.”
“They will see if they can pay something out of it for them to harvest their crops,” a source said.
Residents of Magami in Gusau Local Government Area, LGA, of Zamfara State, had raised the alarm over worsening security, begging government for help to save their communities from the rampaging bandits who have imposed levies on them.
According to them, the bandits normally mount roadblocks to collect the levies, lamenting that whosoever that failed to pay the levy, the bandits would either destroy such person’s farm or he or she would be abducted.
“If you fail to pay bandits the levy, they either abduct you or burn your farmland,” they said.
Meanwhile, a BBC Hausa Service said the State Police Command has denied the report, saying no complaints had been made before it of any destruction of farmland by the bandits.